No, that's a terrible terrible analogy. One, he assumes that bits are pants. You may get by comparing pants to analog vinyl, but they are not the same as digtal bits. Bits are either on and off. and there are no wrinkles to them. On top of that, the error correction code does two things: 1) Tells you when there is an error, and 2) In *some* instances when error occurs, it can recover from the error. The instances where it can detect error is much greater than instances where it can fixes it.
And when the ECC tells you the error is not correctable, then you've lost all hopes of recovering the original audio signal from that CD. Your CD player either gives up, or its DAC translates the bad bits into bad analog waveform. You may hear the problem, or you may not.
But the same problem exists when copying that disc onto CDROM. When copying the disc with the bad section, there are only three things that the PC can do:
* Tell you there is an error and gives up, stop copying
* Realizes the error, but faithfully copies everything, error and all, exactly onto your new CDROM
* Realizes the error, and makes up the answer, as in: "Is it a 1 or 0 at this position? Hmm, since the original can't tell me, I'll just always assume it's a 0 and continue on"
The whole premise of this thread is that #3 above somehow magically corrects the error. There is no magic. If it's broken, and that's all you've got access to, then half the time guessing the bits will be right, and half the time it'll be wrong. Average over all the errors on a disc, you are no better off. No fairy godmother will come out of your PC to tell you what the correct bit is at that location. The only way to "fixes" that error is to get a new original disc and copy from that disc, but then what's the point of copying the bad disc in the first place?
The only way to get out of the jam, is to compare it to other people's original disc. If most discs have no errors, then you can say most people have this bit to be a 1, while I have a 0 (and the ECC alarms went off), so I'll assume it's a 1 because most people has it as a 1. And if you use CDEx to extract a CD into lossless format, that's exactly what it does.
The correction of errors on a CD is as you describe I guess, but the difference is that in the copied CD the player does not have to think "hmmm, what is this, I don't know, let's make it a zero..." , it just reads the zero that is already written there, without any interruption.
On top of that the reading of the original will lead to more "hmmm, what is this, I don't know, let's make it a zero..." - situations than the reading (more evenly spaced writing) of the copy.
The data is exactly the same, but there will be less reading-interrupts while reading the copy. You sort of do the error handling off-line.
And I think (my personal opinion) that playback with less interruption for error handling may result in better perceived sound quality.